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Fantasy Football: Week 10 Studs And Duds

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Fantasy Football 2012: Studs And Duds Week 10


Week 10 starts a crucial time for fantasy football owners, as playoff spots start to be decided and contenders are separated from pretenders. This week’s slate of games kicks off on Thursday night with a less than exciting AFC South contest as the Indianapolis Colts travel to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It’s also the second to last week of bye weeks on the NFL schedule, so fantasy owners can look forward to that headache being over soon. With the Green Bay Packers,Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals off this week, some fantasy owners may be more affected than others but overall there are not a lot of upper echelon fantasy options idle. That said, two top tier quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III) are unavailable this week, leaving those that have been helped by them potentially scrambling for a good option in this critical week.

I have once again attempted to highlight players I feel have good upside for fantasy owners this week (“Studs”) and those that look to have fairly significant downside (“Duds”) as well. I have also again tried to avoid clear-cut, obvious players that qualify as essentially matchup proof on a weekly basis, but at times those guys do deserve consideration here.

Being able to recognize favorable or unfavorable circumstances for players will take on increasing importance going forward for fantasy owners, and with a fairly significant body of work available now those situations have become easier to take advantage of.

With all of that, here are my “Studs and Duds” for Week 10.

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Stud QB-Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers


Rivers has not been particularly good this season, with just one 300-yard game all season and less than 250 yards through the air in four of his last five games. But he has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in four of those same five games and now gets a very favorable matchup in Week 10 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has allowed a league-high 330 passing yards per game as well as nine passing touchdowns over their last three games. Rivers’ propensity for throwing interceptions may hurt him some since the Buccaneers have intercepted seven passes in their last four games, but other than that there is too much upside to ignore here.

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Dud QB-Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Palmer threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now has posted at least 14 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) in seven out of eight games this season. But a tough matchup is coming on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points (11.0 per game, ESPN scoring) to opposing quarterbacks and just six passing touchdowns all season. Palmer should be throwing the ball plenty with Oakland’s top two tailbacks likely out due to matching ankle injuries, but otherwise there are plenty of better options for fantasy owners considering using him as a QB2 for Week 10.

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Stud RB-Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots

Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Ridley went into the Patriots’ Week 9 bye on a high note, with 15 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams back in Week 8. Now a favorable matchup is coming in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills, who enter the week allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (24.5 per game, ESPN scoring), including a league-high 12 rushing touchdowns to the position. Back in Week 4 against the Bills, Ridley had 22 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns and he stands to get a bigger workload this week with backfield mate Brandon Bolden (knee) banged up. Simply put, if you own Ridley he has to be in your lineup this week.

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Dud RB-Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills


Jackson had just six carries for 21 yards and three catches for 14 yards against the Houston Texans in Week 9, and though he does have 18 receptions over the last three games he still has not rushed for more than 71 yards in a game this season. Things won’t get any easier this week against the New England Patriots, as New England comes into Week 10 allowing just 10.9 fantasy points per game (third-fewest in the league, ESPN scoring). Jackson had just 29 yards on 13 carries against New England in Week 4; though that was his first game back after missing time with a knee injury. The Bills have also noted they need to get C.J. Spiller more touches, and Jackson could easily find himself on the lower end of a backfield committee this week. His role in the passing game lessens the downside here some, particularly in PPR leagues, but those that own Jackson should not expect great numbers in Week 10.

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Stud WR-Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers


Wallace had three receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown in Week 9 against the New York Giants, and now has 18 catches over his last three games heading into a favorable Week 10 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have allowed six touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over their last three games and 32 catches to the position over their last four contests. Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) is considered doubtful to play next Monday night, so quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should be looking Wallace’s way often. His fantasy owners may be disappointed in his production to this point, but this is a week to regard Wallace as a WR1 with upside.

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Dud WR-Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks


Rice had four catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, giving him a touchdown in three of his last four games and at least three receptions in five of his last six games. But a tough matchup is coming this week against the New York Jets, who have allowed the fewest receptions (79) and yards (990) to opposing wide receivers this season as well as the second-fewest touchdowns (three) to the position. Jets’ cornerback Antonio Cromartie will most certainly matchup with Rice frequently during Sunday’s game, limiting his upside even further. There are worse options out there for sure, and Rice may still see a fair amount of targets, but the matchup is too difficult to make him a reliable WR2 for Week 10.

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Stud TE-Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Olsen had five receptions for 48 yards last week against the Washington Redskins, which was his highest catch and yardage totals since Week 4 and he still has just one touchdown all season. But a favorable matchup is coming in Week 10 against the Denver Broncos, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends (10.4 per game, ESPN scoring) and allowed over 100 yards to Jermaine Gresham of the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 9. Carolina should be throwing the ball plenty on Sunday, and Olsen should again be targeted frequently as Cam Newton’s No. 2 option. All in all, those that are looking for a tight end with upside can consider using Olsen in a second straight favorable matchup.

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Dud TE-Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Gonzalez had just four catches for 36 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9, giving him three straight games with less than 50 yards with no touchdowns in that span. A fairly tough matchup is now coming in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints, who have allowed just one touchdown to an opposing tight end all season and the fifth-fewest fantasy points (5.0 per game, ESPN scoring) to the position overall. The Saints’ stinginess against tight ends can be considered a bi-product of how generous they have been to other positions, but that along with Gonzalez’s recent downward trend makes the future Hall of Famer a dismal fantasy option for this week.